The pennies are pinching all of us these days. Every time you go to the grocery store, it feels like you’re spending more than you did the last time you were there. As inflation rises and the general public tightens its belt, people are constantly craving ways to save money. Today, we have 10 frugal items that you should keep in your pantry at all times to help you with this endeavor. Let’s get started.

Beans10 Frugal Items You Must Have In Your Pantry

We recommend watching for a sale on dried beans and then stocking up on 20-30 pounds of the varieties that you like all at once. Though this musical fruit has a song that everyone knows, they’ll keep you full for a long time and they help amp up the protein when the cost of meat reaches painful heights. Not sure which beans you like? Pick up a bag of 7-bean soup mix. You can use Google to identify which ones you like and it gives you a taste of many all for one low rate.


Oatmeal isn’t just good for your heart, but it’s good for your pocketbook, too. Though rolled oats aren’t the best way to eat these helpful grains (steel cut, slow cooked are), rolled oats still offer a lot of benefits. Given that this grain can go sweet or savory, it’s a really underused dish in American cuisine because we’ve relegated it to the breakfast table for so long. Try using it like you would mashed potatoes. You’ll be surprised by the results.


Another very helpful grain for keeping bellies full and grocery budgets in the green, rice is extremely common in most areas of the country. However, we must note that brown rice will digest better, and longer, and keep you feeling full over the white stuff. Why? The hull of the grain is removed when it is processed into white rice. Eat the hull, feel better, and use brown rice in every way that you would white rice.

Garlic Powder10 Frugal Items You Must Have In Your Pantry

We realize this is the only spice cabinet thing on the list. Bear with us on that, please. We know that most of you have a specific framework of flavoring that you love, or maybe one that you hate. Because of that, you probably already have a big preference for what you use to flavor your food. Bluntly, we feel like this would be wasted space if we talked about thyme or rosemary. However, garlic powder is so versatile that I had to include it. Even the blandest, cheapest dishes can turn into magic with a little salt, pepper, butter, and garlic powder.

Cheap Canned Vegetables

Let’s say you’re cruising the meat section and spot a tri-tip roast for 75% off. It expires tonight. That’s why you keep cheap canned veggies in your pantry; you go home, exhausted after a day of work and shopping, chop up the roast into bite-sized pieces, and throw it in a pot. Then you dump in corn, carrots and peas, green beans, and some canned whole-new potatoes. In goes a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Maybe you have an onion on hand and it goes in, too. Put a lid on that pot, cook it down for an hour or two, and you’ve got stew. I cannot begin to tell you how much a dump stew sitting in my pantry has saved me after a long, hard day. Make sure you keep a few around, too.


Envelopes of tuna or salmon are two steps away from a quick meal or a snack. In fact, if you’re a big fan of fish, you might just eat it straight out of the packaging. No judgment here, we’ve certainly done it plenty of times. At a couple of bucks per big envelope of salmon, it doesn’t come much cheaper and this healthy fish (if it comes plain) is still full of all the benefits that costly fresh salmon are.

Crackers10 Frugal Items You Must Have In Your Pantry

Perfect for sitting in a soup or a stew, ideal for scooping up some fish and mayo mixed together, or the absolute best for smashing into some ground beef for meatloaf. Crackers are something that you should always keep in your pantry and you can usually find them on sale for buy one, get one prices these days. If you’re overseas, we’re talking about soda crackers.

Instant Potatoes

A box of these costs about a dollar and can not only be a quick meal (especially if made without the milk; you can just add cream or yogurt or even water if you don’t have any extra dairy around) but they can save other meals. Made a stew and it’s extremely thin? Toss in a couple of handfuls of instant potatoes and watch it thicken right up.


This may be an odd idea for some, but skewers are extremely useful. Not only can you roast marshmallows over a fire or make kebabs in the oven, but you can do so much more. Create tall birthday cakes with a few skewers to hold them together, use the skewers as chopsticks if you don’t have any, or pin meat together for better cooking. Skewers are worth their weight in gold and it takes only a quick trim with your scissors if you need to make them shorter.

Parchment Paper

Lunch box, covering for your baking sheets, or a great way to keep frozen things from sticking together; parchment paper does it all and it is extremely cheap to have on hand. We strongly recommend having it on hand just in case you need something to capture a chicken dripping out of its roasting pan or if you need to make a quick baggie for someone to take a snack home in.

What else do you keep in your extremely frugal pantry? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you. And keep an eye out as we continue to explore even more ways to save you money.

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